Home > Conflict Casualties > Persian Gulf War

Persian Gulf War

Map of Kuwait

The Persian Gulf War began on August 2, 1990, when approximately 100,000 Iraqi Army troops crossed the Kuwaiti border. The United Nations Security Council swiftly condemned Iraq, passing Resolution 660 demanding an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. After consulting with Saudi King Fahd, on August 6, 1990, President George H.W. Bush ordered the deployment of U.S. ground, air, and naval forces to the Arabian Peninsula. Named DESERT SHIELD, the initial phases of operations focused on deterring an invasion of Saudi Arabia and preparing to liberate Kuwait. Saddam Hussein's failure to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 678 of November 1990, which set January 15, 1991, as the deadline for Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait, provided the impetus for the next phase of the campaign. The offensive war, Operation DESERT STORM, began on January 17, 1991, with air operations against Iraqi forces in Kuwait and selected targets inside Iraq. On February 28, 1991, a mere 100 hours after the coalition launched its ground offensive, U.S. Central Command liberated Kuwait and halted offensive operations. With the approval of the UN Security Council, a formal cease-fire took effect on April 11, thus ending the Persian Gulf War.